Wednesday, September 12, 2012

COPA legal analysis would apply to minors and cell phone Internet access, where parental monitoring is more difficult

On Tuesday, the Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak about the access minors have to pornography from their cell phones. 

It’s not apparent right now that the legal or constitutional issues would be any different from those with COPA with respect to Internet access on regular personal computers and laptops.

Screening, however, might be much harder for parents to control, than it is on a “family computer.”

The story (which gets into the social consequences of prostitution and trafficking) is here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Congress moves to strengthen children's privacy; major app developer fined by FTC for COPPA violations

W3 Innovations, the parent company of Broken Thumbs Apps, has been required to pay a hefty fine to the FTC ($50000) for alleged violations of children’s privacy rules (previous post about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) in its touch aps for the iPad and iPhone.

One of the apps, for example, asked parents to enter the child’s name, which the company would then archive.  The company apparently also collected email addresses.

Ars Technica has a story by Jacqui Chang on Aug. 31, link here

Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) has introduced a “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011”, HR 1895, which he says would modernize COPPA, in view of technological capabilities in wireless, particularly to collect GPS (location) data, here

There’s a story on Paid Content by Joe Mullin, “FCC Busts App Maker for Collecting Kids’ Email Addresses”, here

W3 Innovations is here, and Broken Thumbs (obviously for children) is at this link